Web english.cri.cn  
2017-11-06 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-11-02 14:27:28    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun

This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
The International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for China's economic growth this year to 6.8 percent. This is the fourth time this year the IMF has raised its forecast for China. In September, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development adjusted upwards its forecast for China's growth this year, raising it from 6.6 percent to 6.8 percent.
A Chinese media, the Beijing News, said in a commentary that the two organizations' adjustments regarding their forecasts for China's economic growth show their positivity towards the prospects for the world's second-largest economy.
Since 2008, China has contributed more than 30 percent on average to the world's economic growth each year. The Beijing News said that it is remarkable that China has kept such high annual growth since it launched reform and opening-up in the 1970s, and that it has been able to lift more than 800 million people out of poverty.
The commentary says that China's opening-up has also promoted its integration with the world, and in doing so, the country has had a larger say in addressing global challenges. It is noteworthy that China's reforms and economic restructuring over the past five years have laid a solid foundation for resolving domestic issues including environmental and social problems.
This is Special English.
China will provide 1 million U.S. dollars worth of emergency food aid to Afghanistan via the World Food Program.
The Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan told China's Xinhua News Agency that as winter draws near, displaced people in Afghanistan are faced with difficulties. As a close and friendly neighbor to Afghanistan, China hopes to work with the World Food Program in helping the Afghan people get through the food crisis.
This is the first such cooperation between China and the U.N. organization in Afghanistan.
An official of the World Food Program expressed thanks to China for its support and contribution to its work in Afghanistan. He said the U.N. organization sees the project as the beginning of a series of new cooperation between the two sides. The cooperation will help achieve the shared vision of an Afghanistan free from hunger.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Chinese scientists have announced observation of the "optical counterpart" of gravitational waves coming from the merger of two binary neutron stars. They made the discovery, using a survey telescope in Antarctica.
The gravitational waves were first discovered by American scientists on Aug. 17. Scientists from China independently observed optical signals resulting from the merger the following day.
This was the first time humans have detected gravitational waves and the corresponding electromagnetic phenomena resulting from a binary neutron star merger.
The merging process ejected radioactive material with more than 3,000 times the mass of the Earth at a speed of up to 30 percent the speed of light.
The collision of binary neutron stars is accompanied by a series of electromagnetic phenomena that are crucial to research in origins of heavy elements like platinum and gold.
The host galaxy of the incident is located around 130 million light years from the Earth.
In 2015, U.S. scientists confirmed the existence of gravitational waves produced during the merger of two black holes, which were predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity 100 years ago.
So far, U.S. scientists and their partners in Europe have discovered four cases of gravitational waves coming from mergers of two black holes.
This is Special English.
Since the charity law that encourages online donations came into effect in September last year, online donations in China have exceeded 2 billion yuan, roughly 300 million US dollars.
The Southern Metropolis Daily reports that since 2010, the popularization of smartphones and social media networks has made it possible to donate via online platforms. Previously, it was mainly wealthy entrepreneurs who donated to charitable causes.
Online donating is popular now. Donations made online account for more than 80 percent of the revenue in many charity organizations.
The media says that despite the success, measures need to be taken to better control charity programs to ensure a healthy development of online donation.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
For the second year running, Chinese electronic manufacturers Huawei and Lenovo have been ranked among some of the best global brands this year, ranking 70th and 100th respectively.
US-based consultancy company Inter-brand says the brand value of Huawei increased by 14 percent to almost 7 billion US dollars from last year, but, Lenovo's brand value fell by 1 percent to 4 billion dollars.
This year, the world's top 100 brand names' total value reached almost 2 trillion dollars, a 4 percent increase compared to last year.
Facebook's brand value surged the most among the top 100 brand names. Facebook's value rose by 48 percent from last year to reach 48 billion dollars.
Hewlett Packard's brand value dropped the most among others in the top 100 list. It fell 19 percent from last year to 9 billion dollars.
The new comers in the list are Netflix, Saleforce.com, and Ferrari.
Among the top 10 best global brand names, three have seen their values dropped compared to last year. They are Coca-Cola, Toyota and IBM.
Apple remained at the top, with its brand value at 184 billion dollars.
This is Special English.
Chinese bike-sharing company Mobike has entered the market in South Korea.
The company's dockless bicycles are now on the streets of Suwon in South Korea, making it the 14th overseas city to have the bike-sharing brand.
Mobike says it is aiming to build environment-friendly cities, and Suwon has been planning to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging cycling.
Mobike founder Hu Weiwei said the company would cooperate with the city in "smart and green development" to maintain a beautiful urban environment.
Mobike currently runs over 7 million shared bikes in 180 cities in nine countries, including China, the United States, Britain, Japan, Singapore and Italy.
This is Special English.
More than 40 carpenters have put their best foot forward in a special competition held by the Palace Museum in Beijing, striving for an opportunity to participate in the renovation work of the ancient palace, also known as the Forbidden City.
All the contestants were required to operate by using traditional Chinese construction methods. Traditional Chinese buildings are wooden frame structures. Most of the parts are interlocked, and nails are seldom used. As a result, these traditional structures require relatively high craftsmanship.
This was not the first time for the Palace Museum to hold such a competition. Earlier this year, a similar competition for tillers was held. Another event will be held next year, involving painters.
All the events are held to select the best craftsmen for the renovation of the Palace Museum.
The museum had previously launched public biddings for renovation projects. But it found that most bidders focused too much on economic gain rather than paying enough attention to preserving ancient relics.
According to the organizers, all the 43 carpenters are professional craftsmen with experience in repairing ancient buildings. They have to pass two tests in order to get into the finals. The tests include ancient building theories and professional skills.
After the tests, the winners will receive special training on how to repair buildings in the Palace Museum, before work can begin. The repair work mainly involves the Emperor's bedroom, the Hall of Mental Cultivation.
This is a part of a grand project that started in 2002 to renovate ancient buildings in the Palace Museum.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Driven by the booming mobile internet sector, top gaming companies in China have seen significant growth in revenues during the first six months of this year.
Internet giant Tencent has taken the top spot in a ranking released by a gaming industry consultancy firm. Tencent generated 7 billion U.S. dollars of revenue in the first six months of this year, marking a 50 percent increase over the same period last year.
Tencent's mobile game "King of Glory" has 200 million players in China alone, making a huge profit. The game raked in around 6 billion yuan, roughly 900 million US dollars, from April to June. Its transactions for the full year are expected to hit 22 billion yuan.
Another internet company, NetEase, continued to rank seventh on the list, recording a 53 percent year-on-year increase in revenues. Experts predicted that NetEase will be a strong contender for the global top five this year.
This is Special English.
Beijing's first medium-low speed maglev line is scheduled to start trial operation at the end of the year.
The 10-kilometer line will connect two suburban districts in western Beijing.
Eight stations have been built for the line which has a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour.
The line is expected to transport 160,000 passengers per day.
Using magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground, a maglev line is free from vibration caused by friction between the wheels and rail track.
Multiple tests have ensured that the line has passed standards recommended by the World Health Organization.
A German-made maglev train went into operation in Shanghai in 2002. It was the world's first commercial maglev system running between the city's downtown district and the airport.
China's first domestically produced maglev line started operation in central China last year, making it one of the few countries in the world to have mastered the technology.
You are listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
American carmaker Tesla is modifying new cars delivered to China and retrofitting its charging network to comply with the norms in China. The company hopes that the move could boost its sales in the world's largest electric vehicle market.
Starting this month, Tesla will deliver new cars to Chinese customers, along with new charging ports based on China's standards.
The California-based car maker aims to complete retrofitting its supercharger stations and destination charging sites in China by next spring.
Sales of electric vehicles have been hampered by "range anxiety", a fear of running out of electricity while on the road. The situation has been exacerbated by the incompatibility of Tesla's vehicles to charging facilities built by China's State Grid.
Tesla said in 2015 that it would modify its vehicles to fit the national standards in China, home to Tesla's largest charging networks outside the United States.
China will have more than 1,000 charging facilities by the end of the year. Tesla delivered 14,000 cars to China in the first nine months of this year, more than doubling the figure from a year earlier.
This is Special English.
An experiment involving injection of engineered proteins has significantly lowered body weight, blood insulin, and cholesterol levels in obese mice, rats and monkeys.
The study by American scientists may pave the way for urgently needed alternatives to bariatric surgery for treating obesity in humans. The obesity rates have almost tripled worldwide since 1975.
Previously, observations in mice, rats and humans have found that the lean ones appear to have elevated blood concentrations of a protein called GDF15 compared to their obese counterparts.
Since the protein breaks down too quickly in the blood and is difficult to produce in substantial quantities, scientists generated two different versions of the protein that were more stable in the circulation and led to higher yields.
Both versions have effectively decreased body weight for obese mice and monkeys.
Interestingly, researchers found that the protein regimen altered food preferences in mice, leading the animal to opt for lower calorie food when offered a choice between standard food and an extra-rich condensed-milk diet.
In contrast, untreated mice gorged themselves on the high-calorie nutrition.
This is Special English.
Around 1,700 people in Myanmar, including the blind and visually impaired, have participated in the Mayor's Cup competition to mark the International White Cane Day in Yangon, the largest city of Myanmar.
The event aims to support and promote better awareness for the need of the disabled people, particularly those with visibility impairments.
Participants from 24 blind schools across the country took part in the event.
This was the 26th such event held annually in the city since 1992.
One of the organizers, the Myanmar National Association of the Blind, is a membership-based-association representing the country's visually impaired people. It now has 530 members.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
That is the end of today's program. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing, and I hope you will join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.


The Sound Stage
China Revealed
My Chinese Life
Photo Gallery
Learn Chinese
"In" Chinese
Chatting in Chinese
Pop Culture
Traditional Culture
Living Chinese
Chinese Studio
Chinese Class
Learn English
Special English
Pop Chart
Everyday English
Fabulous Snaps
CRI News
China.org.cn  | Xinhua  | People's Daily Online   |  CNTV.cn  | China Daily  |  Global Times  | China Job  |  China Tibet Online  | Taiwan.cn  | eBeijing  | Beijing Today  | China-Eurasia Expo  | APEC Yiwu Conference  | Chinese Embassy in S.Africa  | Chinese Embassy in Australia  | Chinese Embassy in NZ